Recognizing your risk could save your life

You know I’m constantly stressing the fact that, given the state of diet and nutrition in the U.S., we’re all “patients-in-waiting” for a variety of diseases. And, one of my biggest goals in the Reality Health Check is to warn you what you’re at risk for—so that you can do something about it before it’s too late. Because unfortunately, a lot of doctors won’t.

More on that in just a minute. But first, let me tell you about a recent study that I found very encouraging: Researchers at Yale and Syracuse universities conducted a nationwide survey to determine if people actually WANT to take action when they’re faced with increased risk of a potential health concern.

The researchers asked the participants to imagine that they were at a genetic risk for a disease. Each person was assigned a level of risk (between 20 and 80 percent) as well as a (hypothetical) disease: heart disease, colon cancer, or Alzheimer’s.

These happen to be three diseases I talk about particularly often. They were chosen in this study for the same reasons: because they’re all common, affect women and men equally, and are caused by a blend of genetic and environmental factors.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the researchers found that the higher the subjects’ risk level was, the more likely they were to want to take action. Those actions included wanting to learn more about the disease and expressing a desire to manage risk in a variety of ways.

This finding—that people use risk information to make significant decisions—is extremely encouraging to me… because, as I noted above, it’s my goal to make sure you’re aware of your risks—precisely so that you CAN take action. But what concerns me is that far too many doctors don’t bother to mention risk to their patients, beyond just a cursory glance at that family history chart you fill out on your first appointment.

Take prediabetes. It’s a word that almost never comes up at doctors’ offices. Yet, thanks to our overly-processed, carb- and sugar-laden food supply, and our nationwide obesity epidemic, the vast majority of the U.S. population is currently suffering from prediabetes. Which means their diabetes risk is through the roof. Still, most doctors never mention blood sugar until they’re handing you a full-blown diabetes diagnosis—and a prescription to go along with it.

Same with heart disease. Cholesterol is really the only thing most doctors focus on. And even then, they only look at a small fraction of the big picture. Once they’ve got you on statins, they consider their job done. But there’s much, much more to heart health than just lowering your LDL cholesterol with Lipitor.

You can read more about the WHOLE cholesterol story—and how to manage it without dangerous drugs—in the November issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. (And while you’re at it, you should also check out my special report The World’s Easiest Heart Disease Cure. It will fill you in on all the other heart risks your doctor may be ignoring.)

I think it’s wonderful that people want to take action and rein in their risk. I just wish more doctors were ready and willing to help their patients do that. But that’s why I’m here. Stick with me, and I’ll keep arming you with the information you need to make sure your risks never turn into frightening realities.


“Even perceived risk of disease prompts intention to act.” ScienceDaily, 12/5/14 (